The Himba

The Himba are an indigenous people living in the bush in northern Namibia. They pride themselves on remaining true to their traditions and culture, and maintain a strong sense of tribal identity. While most Himba maintain their traditional dress, some have adopted western-style clothing. Visiting the remote villages outside of Opuwo, in northern Namibia, we feel as though we are in one of the last places on earth untouched by western society.

But as we look closer, we will find technology has found its way into pockets of Himba society. But, whereas the rest of the world has become increasingly disengaged from each other through electronic media, the Himba use technology in curious ways to help bring their communities closer together.

While on assignment for BBC News, I visited multiple Himba communities in northern Namibia. Here, we explore these communities as they enjoy their traditional way of life: women prepare ochre to rub on their bodies as a beauty and cleansing ritual; villagers prepare milk in a dried calabash; and children help to fetch food rations. But they also show the curious and unifying way technology can bring people together: a child dances to music playing on a radio in a village without electricity; a woman uses a mobile phone to communicate with her cousin in a neighboring town about food supplies; and children marvel at an iPad I brought in from New York.

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